Business Irish

Wednesday 16 October 2019

Half of jobs at ESB's coal plant may go say managers

Fossil fuel: Moneypoint will cease generation from coal by 2025
Fossil fuel: Moneypoint will cease generation from coal by 2025

Gordon Deegan

FEARS were expressed on Monday for the future of more than half of the 194-strong workforce at ESB's Moneypoint power station.

It follows a meeting between ESB local management and staff at the west Clare coal-burning plant on Monday where it is understood job losses of around 100 were mooted by management.

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The ESB is not pressing for compulsory redundancies and in similar situations at other under-performing plants, staff have been offered voluntary severances or redeployment.

In a statement the ESB said that market pressures, carbon prices and increases in renewable energy all mean "Moneypoint is running far less than previously".

"Given these market fundamentals, a low running regime is likely to persist into the future. The impact of these factors is that Moneypoint's income has been significantly reduced," the statement said.

"Consequently, ESB needs to realign Moneypoint's operation and resources with the new lower running regime"

The ESB said local management had briefed staff and union representatives on Monday "and set out proposals for a reconfigured option for running Moneypoint".

The ESB is to cease all generation from coal in Moneypoint no later than 2025 and the latest figures from Eirgrid show that coal now accounts for 4pc of the fuel mix in generating electricity for the national grid. That compares to 65pc for gas and 7pc for renewables.

The ESB confirmed that it is "currently examining technology options for Moneypoint beyond 2025 that will deliver large-scale electricity generation, fuel diversity and security of supply".

The statement stressed that "the development of replacement generation for Moneypoint, however, is contingent on a project winning an open auction for a capacity contract and on being commercially viable".

Irish Independent

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